A new report which examines freedom of movement in four EU cities has concluded that the sudden arrival of high numbers of new workers in the cities has posed “some challenges”.
Researchers studied the impact of freedom of movement among workers in Frankfurt, Leeds, Milan and Rotterdam in 2014-2015.
In line with the European Commission's “balanced approach to mobility” –
and “attention to the reality on the ground” – the report considers how issues affect the mobile workers, local workers and the local community at large.
The report also analyses challenges and opportunities for workers from other EU countries wishing to integrate in the local labour market – as well as the impact on local workers and communities.
Researchers also considered the policies and solutions put in place to facilitate the socio-economic inclusion of mobile EU workers and their families.
The researchers found that mobile EU workers are a diverse population –
ranging from highly-skilled globalised professionals, to workers taking temporary contracts in low-skilled jobs.
The reports also says that mobile EU workers can benefit the local economy by bringing entrepreneurial energy, helping to “revitalise” the housing market – and by purchasing goods and services.
However, mobile EU workers can be at risk of exploitation – especially in the case of low-skilled workers. This may lead to negative consequences for local wages and working conditions, say the researchers.
The challenges posed by the sudden arrival of high volumes of mobile EU workers in the four cities are frequently related to broader challenges affecting urban areas – such as the shortage of affordable housing and houses to rent, as well as financial pressure on local services because of austerity measures across EU member states.
However, the reports says there is no evidence to suggest that mobile EU workers are intensive users of local services – even if there is a general perception that this is the case among some local service providers. The researchers say that the challenge of having to “cater” for mobile EU workers has prompted some services to improve the dissemination of information to the public.
Freedom of movement is a founding principle of the European Union – however, the UK has not signed up to the Schengen Agreement, which is currently the focus of debate involving the movement of refugees across the EU.
In 2013 – in response to public concerns over the lifting of border controls on Romania and Bulgaria – the UK coalition government also introduced tougher criteria and restrictions on jobless EU migrants claiming welfare benefits when they first arrive in Britain.
Duncan Lewis Immigration Solicitors
Duncan Lewis immigration lawyers are a leading firm of Legal Aid immigration specialists able to advise EU migrants and non-EU migrants on UK immigration law, including:
• Asylum and asylum appeals
• British citizenship
• Human Rights Act
• Illegal entry to the UK
• Marriage in the UK
• Right to work in the UK
• Spouse visas
• Student visas
• Visa overstays.
For expert legal advice on UK immigration law, call Duncan Lewis immigration solicitors on 020 7923 4020.
For urgent legal help with immigration matters, call the Duncan Lewis Emergency Hotline, where an accredited immigration lawyer is available 24/7.